Our team formed when we came to a consensus that we all wanted to be entrepreneurs who could positively impact the world. One of our team members owns an electric car and realized that as the number of EVs increased around us, it was much harder to locate a charging port to charge the EV. Additionally, it is difficult to travel longer distances knowing the limitations of the battery life. We want to encourage everyone to decrease their carbon footprint not only limited to converting to driving an EV but also sharing resources such as the chargers.
What it does
chargeUP will allow users to rent out their charging ports at home by adding them to a map on the web application. Other users can access the locations of the charging ports added and find the nearest one to charge their cars. Once the user selects a chargeUP station, they can click into the location which will direct them to Google maps and find the nearest route to get to it.
How we built it
We used Firebase as a database and user authentication, GoogleMaps API, React to deveop front-end and a wrapper to ease the process of using GoogleMaps.
Challenges we ran into
We struggled greatly creating personal pinpoints on Google Maps and finally decided on using the Google-Map-React wrapper to create Google Maps React component. Another challenge we ran into was we originally wanted to create a mobile app, but unfortunately the installation for Flutter was taking up too much time. We failed to realize we should have used React which all our team members already had installed to create a responsive web app given the time constraint.
Accomplishments that we’re proud of
An accomplishment we are extremely proud of is the ability to call the Google Maps API so we can create personal pins for our chargeUP stations which are allocated by users. We also implemented a function which can show available ports as blue and unavailable ports as red. These are updated in real time via Firebase. We are also able to click into our pins and redirect the user to Google maps, setting up directions for the user to take to that specific charging port.
What we learned
We learned many soft and technical skills at this hackathon. Soft skills we learned include solidifying a topic and sticking with our timeline, as well as communicating with all team members in a transparent matter. The technical skills we learned include calling APIs, using wrappers to create a React component, using React to perform front-end development, and reading, writing, and authenticating users with Firebase.
What’s next for chargeUP?
In the future, we would like to indicate what type of charger is available (LDV public slow or level 2) and aim to only allow users with level 2 and above chargers to rent out their ports. We also want to show what level of charge a user’s car is at while it is charging at any chargeUP station. If user decides to rent out their charging port, we will send updates or notifications regarding when someone checks into their stations and how much energy is used. Another functionality we would like to add is creating bookings for specific chargeUP stations so that our clients can be assured they will be able to secure the charging port spot. Finally, we want to receive and process monetary transactions for the rental of charging ports between users.